Running a farm can be challenging enough, even if it is just a small hobby farm with a few goats on it. When you have goats, or for that matter any other type of livestock, you should also plan to have at least one dog trained to protect them from strangers and many other forms of predators. There are many breeds who make great guard dogs, those most commonly used are herding animals such as German shepherds, Great Pyrenees, Australian shepherds, and Welsh Corgis.
Dogs that are particularly good at guarding or protecting tend to be very stubborn, independent, and wary of strangers and other animals. Yet at the same time, they will form a strong bond with the livestock you place under their care. Once this bond has been formed, your dog will instinctively move to protect them. However, you will still need to train your dog to protect your goats.
The earlier you start to train your pup to protect your goats, the better. In fact, the prime age to start letting your pup build a bond with your goats is between 8 and 16 weeks of age. By letting him grow up around your goats and especially any kids, the stronger his bond will be. A good way to do this is by using a bonding pen where there is a protective area your pup can run to if he feels threatened. The idea is that, in time, your dog will start to see the goats under his protection as part of his "pack."
Dogs have a natural instinct to protect the members of his pack and by turning your goats into his "pack", your dog will be more diligent and ready to protect them from any type of danger. Be patient, this training is going to take some time and effort. The most important thing to remember is that there is a significant risk of injury to your dog or your goats.
Before you can start to train your pup to protect your goats, he needs to have mastered the basic commands including 'down', 'sit', 'stay', and 'come', as you will need to be able to use them to control him during and after the training has been completed. When it comes to supplies, you don't need much:
The most important thing to remember is that during training there is a significant risk of injury to your dog or your goats. Be sure to keep a close eye on both and intervene before anything can happen. If your dog is injured, you may not be able to train him to work with the goats or it will be much harder.